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Editorial May 22nd 2020

Welcome to this week’s editorial,

Bubbles within bubbles within bubbles. Here we are in our own perfect little bubble on the South Coast, hunkered down and presently content that we have no cases of Covid and adequate supplies of toilet paper. The bubble has a secure feel about it and even though we may have collectively over reacted and been quite hostile to the “outsiders” who decided to isolate with us things have settled down. Even our Mayor is back with her exuberance saying “.. we’re ready to capture our share of what is expected to be a booming domestic tourism trade when restrictions lift” But when travel restrictions within New South Wales lift from the 1st of June our bubble will be burst and we will see the return of new-comers in whom we must trust. With one of the oldest demographics in the country and with a distinct lack of adequate health resources to cope with an outbreak we can only hope they wash their hands from time to time. In the last 24 hours three new cases have been uncovered in the more than 8000 tests that were carried out in NSW. It is not assuring that authorities say they know the suburbs where the three cases lived but are continuing investigations to see if they contracted coronavirus there or elsewhere. Meanwhile people are now travelling freely around the State. We are not alone in our bubble however, as NSW has discovered, where most states around the country wish to remain happily in their own bubble for a while longer and are choosing to keep their borders closed. Once these borders do open up the next discussions will be around bursting the bubble of New Zealand and the Pacific to allow internal travel between. Airlines need travellers and apparently we need tourists in order to survive. If anything Covid-19 has taught us that we have too many fragile eggs in our tourism basket. The Kiwis are working on an interesting plan: a four day week. This will then encourage Kiwi’s to have long weekends of regional travel, regional food and culture celebration and regional consumption to help out regional towns. The difference between the Kiwi’s and us is that they have far better results after the lock down and appear to have a greater respect for social distancing and of the real potential for a second wave. While they are focused on an internal tourism economic recovery they are taking baby steps to get there. NSW however is going gangbusters in opening the doors with fresh announcements about sports, bars and restaurants, public gatherings and soon to be considered returns to aviation. It has been some time since we have seen a Wash Your Hands promotion and by the evidence on display at our local major stores there seems to be a collective blank drawn around social distancing. Time will tell if we have burst the bubble too early as we rush to repair the economic loss and our social disruption. In the meantime The Beagle will stay inside, in its own bubble with sanitiser, at the ready for when the next parcel delivery arrives. Until next—Lei

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